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Using the science of knowledge to manage change at Briggs & Stratton

Unmanaged change can rip apart a company's culture. When Briggs & Stratton acquired several consumer-brand companies and consolidated manufacturing facilities in 2004-2005, the company partnered with Padilla Speer Beardsley to gauge and help manage the effects of change.

Before the transition, Padilla used its proprietary Employee Engagement Profile to survey 8,000 office and factory employees worldwide about their attitudes toward B&S; management and the prospect of a major shift in the engine-maker's strategy. The results were used to improve supervisor training, employee communications and company operations overall.

A 2006 follow-up study in the company's European region showed significant growth in commitment among many employees, but erosion in attitudes among others. This polarization prompted management to reinforce attitudes among the "engaged" group and to reconnect with the "disengaged."

Briggs & Stratton continues to use the benchmark and follow-up information provided by Padilla as a key tool to help retain and attract employees.

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